Leslie's Diary: Wednesday, Dec. 27

A Christmas To Remember

SAN ANTONIO - Have you ever wondered what it would feel like to die a slow and painful death? I think I now know what that feels like.

I did get my chemo on schedule last Thursday (Dec. 21). My white cell count was still a little low, but my doctor decided I could get it -- if I took a shot for five days after the chemo to boost my white cell count.

I agreed and the poison again was pumped into my veins. My doctor was determined that I would not be nauseated this time and gave me lots of anti-nausea medication. They worked! No nausea. But I think I would have rather the nausea over the pain I was about to experience.

Thursday wasn't bad. I slept all day and all night. On Friday I felt a little weak, but the medication was working -- no nausea. By Friday afternoon, though, I started feeling achy all over. By Saturday morning death was at my door.

I hurt from the core of my being. The pain was too intense to describe. It was as if someone had their hand inside my body -- crushing my cells between two fingers -- one by one. It hurt from my bones to the little hairs on my arm -- everything was in pain. My head felt as if it was going to explode. A throbbing, constant pain. I couldn't talk, I could barely walk.

My husband kept a cell phone next to him on the couch downstairs -- and I would call him when I needed something. He would bring me something to drink, with a straw in it, so it would be easier going down. It was a great effort just to swallow. He made me soup, simmered slowly and the chicken taken out (just how I like it). But I could get little more than two bites down. I truly felt death would be better than the pain I was experiencing. When would it end? Would it end? All I could think was, "I can't do this two more times -- I just can't!"

I think the reason it was so bad is because I ended up catching the flu the day after chemo. The nurse also told me the shots I was taking to boost my white cell count makes my bones ache. So it was a triple doozy!

I started feeling better Sunday. Not great, but better. I no longer felt like life was over -- more like it was about to begin! My husband Tony and my daughter Nicole also caught the flu, so Christmas was interesting, to say the least.

We spent most of it in bed, sleeping, but I did make it to a friend's house for a little holiday cheer and food. Not that I had much food -- because it all tastes pretty awful!

Despite the setbacks, we did have each other! Today, I'm still sick but hopefully on the road to recovery. This will be a Christmas to remember! I remind myself of what Christ endured for me -- and look around at the blessings he has given me and realize I have little to complain about!

Despite the bad, there is much good in my life, and I'm trying to stay focused on that!


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